Believe it: according to just-released ratings from Nielsen, the Grammys barely edged out the Oscars in total views, the first time that’s happened since 1984.
Specifically, the Grammys lured 39.9 million viewers overall, while Sunday night’s Oscars drew a slightly-lower 39.3 million. Which means the biggest, most star-studded Hollywood event just got trumped by the biggest, most star-studded musical event.
Both shows seem to be getting a kick from non-tube networking channels, especially Twitter. But a huge part of this is the Whitney factor, which helped the Grammys reach its second-highest draw ever. The Oscars, by contrast, had a charismatic Billy Crystal to draw viewers, but (thankfully) nothing on the magnitude of Whitney Houston passing away the night before. Still, the Oscars edged upward by 3.7 percent over the 2011 showcase, which featured James Franco and Anne Hathaway as hosts.
That said, the situation still seems to reaffirm the takeaway that interest in music remains feverish – on all levels and across a wide range of genres. And, for those in the right place at the right time – like Adele – post Grammy sales were simply enormous.
Written while listening to Jeremy Olander.